Peer through the window the next time you go on any type of road trip in New York and you'll likely spot at least a few weathervanes (actual name is Weathercock) and more times than not, you'll notice a rooster sitting on top of those weathervanes.

Why are roosters the chosen animal to sit perched atop weathervanes across New York? Well, to get to that answer, we have to take a journey back in time.

Before the age of smartphones, alarm clocks, and even light bulbs, the rooster's morning call signaled the start of a new day. The rooster became a symbol of light and a new dawn. People began incorporating the rooster into their artwork, weaving it into tapestries and forging it from copper. But it was its adoption by the early Christian church that made it truly famous.

In the Bible, Jesus foretold that Peter, one of his most devoted disciples, would betray him.

Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, Peter — this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.'  Matthew 26:34 (NLT)

And so, the rooster became an emblem of Peter's betrayal and a daily reminder that all people are capable of betraying the truest things in life.

The rooster became so important to the early Christian Church that in 590 A.D., Pope Gregory I declared that it was "the most suitable emblem of Christianity." In the 9th century, Pope Nicholas I even decreed that a rooster be placed at the top of every church. This is how the rooster weathervane was born.

The tradition of putting weathervanes on top of buildings goes back to ancient times when people found genius ways to determine the direction of the wind. From simple strings or banners, weathervanes morphed into ornate metal sculptures that not only indicated wind direction but also served as symbolic representations.

Fast forward to the present day, and the rooster weathervane has survived the centuries since its Papal popularity, changing in style and construction to suit the tastes of each passing age.

So next time you spot a rooster weathervane on your travels through New York, smile and tip your hat to this feisty bird with a tale as colorful as the state itself.

A Remarkable Look Inside 22 Of Upstate New York's Most Historic Churches!

There are just way too many beautiful churches in Upstate New York to even begin a comprehensive list of them all. So this gallery is a bit different. It is unique in that for each of the 22 historic places of worship we highlight, we also include a video tour of the interiors of the place (if available). If no video of the interior was possible, we inserted a video of the exterior, grounds, etc. So you can do your exploring from the comfort of your own laptop! You will enjoy seeing the splendor of these magnificent places in our gallery.

Here you will see majestic cathedrals, a Tibetan monastery, a church that ultimately found fame as a fort, a church that is world-renowned as a "temple to the art of Tiffany windows,: two important churches that were way stations along the Underground Railroad, plus the smallest church in the world!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

These Presidents and First Ladies Were Born in Upstate New York

Presidential historical sites are always popular for history seekers and road warriors to seek out. Several presidents were born in New York State, and several others are buried in the state. But most of these sites are in New York City and environs (Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, etc). There are several presidents and their First Ladies who were born in our Upstate region and this gallery takes a look at them and their birthlpaces.

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

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